One of the most important factors to consider when you file for bankruptcy is how much it will cost. There are plenty of ads, billboards, and commercials saying that your bankruptcy will cost $695 or some other lower flat fee. If the price seems too good to be true, then most of the time, it is.
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when shopping around for how much it will cost to file for bankruptcy:
- Make sure you know WHO is doing the legal work on your case--a barred attorney or a paralegal. Many times, law firms that charge a low price have paralegals who will work on your case. Some times you will even meet with an attorney, but a paralegal will end up doing the work. Clarify with the firm so you know exactly who will be handling your bankruptcy case.
- Hidden fees--a lot of firms or companies will advertise a low bankruptcy price to get you into the door. Then, they will keep adding fees to that low price, sometimes doubling or even tripling what they initially advertised. Some of these "hidden" fees might include court costs, going to your hearing with you, preparing reaffirmations, etc. Make sure you know what services will be included in the bankruptcy fee. For example, the chapter 7 filing fee is $306 and the chapter 13 filing fee is $281. You need to know if that fee is included in your price quote, or if you will have to pay more at a later date.
- Obtain a written retainer agreement. Once you decide to retain, or hire, a firm, be sure to obtain a copy of the retainer contract you sign with the firm. Review the retainer agreement before you sign it. It is a legally binding, written contract so you want to know what you are signing.
- Each bankruptcy case is different, so the price will vary from one case to the next. Be very skeptical if you are given a price before an in-depth consultation has taken place. The price of a bankruptcy will vary depending on certain factors such as: your household income and size, your assets, case planning, amount of debt you have, etc. All of these contribute to how much an attorney will charge you to file bankruptcy.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases: The price for all chapter 13 bankruptcy cases are the same because the court sets the attorney's fees for the case. Each chapter 13 will cost $4,000 for attorney's fees, plus court costs. If you are self-employed, it will cost $4,500 - $5,000 for attorney's fees.
When you file for bankruptcy, of course price is an important consideration. But always keep in mind that you get what you pay for. One law firm may cost a few hundred dollars more than another, but if the more expensive law firm only allows an attorney to work on your case, has good client reviews, and a high success rate, it might be worth the additional fee to hire them. A bankruptcy case has a lot of moving parts and a lot of work goes into it. You want to make sure your case is handled properly the first time so that your property is not at risk.
Here at Atlantis Law, it is our policy to have an in-depth consultation with all of our potential clients. These consultations are free and are an opportunity for potential clients to meet with us and feel comfortable with us and get all of their questions answered. At the consultation, an experienced bankruptcy lawyer will meet with you to determine if you qualify to file for bankruptcy and even if filing for bankruptcy will be your best option (it might not be). Then, the lawyer will be able to give you an all-inclusive total price for your bankruptcy case as well. We offer an all-inclusive price for your case, do you don't have to worry about additional fees. Only an Atlantis Law bankruptcy lawyer will work on your case. We have filed hundred of chapter 7 cases here in Rancho Cucamonga and every single one has been successfully discharged. We are here to help you obtain the financial relief you are looking for. Please
contact us today to schedule your free consultation.